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Tips And Tricks

What Do I Do With My Hands?!

Tips & Tricks

We photograph a lot of couples and groups, each with their own collection of unique traits and attitudes. It's a lot of fun to get to know these different people and what makes them special, but it's also interesting to see common threads that link everyone together. Sometimes, it's a pure excitement to be in front of the camera, and other times it's a lack of confidence in modeling abilities. Couples or individuals have warned us before-hand that they feel they aren't photogenic or great at having their picture take. But we have awesome news to the doubters: it's impossible for us to not capture gorgeous images of you! We're not just saying that idly, either, since everyone has the capability to look stunning, no matter what. You can trust in our experience as professional photographers that we will find the perfect way to present you. One of the most common concerns that we get from those who lack faith is not knowing how to pose, specifically on what to do with hands. Hands can be awkward when left hanging at your side, but they need to be comfortable and not distracting when placed elsewhere. During sessions, we've seen people situate their hands three or four different times trying to find a spot that works. We definitely provide instruction when this problem arises, but we understand that having the information before the session is the difference between eager for a session or being scared of it. The tips below apply...

Engagement Session Preparation

Tips & Tricks

It is always a little daunting to have photos taken. It's not something that is normal for day-to-day life and can be one of the hardest things to prepare for. For me, I instantly clam up when a lens is pointing at me. Spending so much time around cameras does not prepare me for being in front of the camera. I know that most couples feel the exact same way as I do. The great thing is, there are ways to prepare for your engagement session that will greatly put your mind at ease. Engagement photos can feel very strange and it can often times seem like your relationship isn't accurately portrayed in them. When we chat with our couples about their engagement shoot, one of the most common thing is someone in the couple not understanding the point of these photos. They don't care, they hate their photo taken, or they just want to hire us for the wedding and be done. Unfortunately, that's not how this all works. We want to experience your relationship in advance. With our photos, we get really wonderful emotion because we don't just show up on the wedding day. Our bond with the couple is what creates a genuine interaction and ability for them to show us who they are. Your photos are important, and we want everyone to feel something when they look at your photos. The following advice to prepare for your engagement session all go hand-in-hand together. If each...

The First Look Explained

Tips & Tricks

Whenever the question of a first look comes up, we are almost always met with an excited bride and confused groom. It's no fault of the groom that he doesn't know what this wedding trend is. We generally give the bride the chance to explain it, if she is familiar. But it's still kind of difficult to find the right words to describe it. When we explain it, we want to be informative and still give all the sweetness that is involved. The benefits and trade offs are not always immediately obvious. It takes both people to decide if a first look is right for them. Having to find the right words to make a confident choice is a challenge. We want to give you the resources that allow you both to be at peace with your options. So we are excited to give you the information about a first look, and the tools to know if it should be a part of your wedding day. What is a first look? The easiest way to explain a first look is that it's a chance for the couple to be with each other before all of the craziness starts. It's an intimate moment that you two get the chance to share on a day that is all about your love. A first look is never rushed or forced. It's honestly the most exciting time during the wedding, besides the declaration of marriage. The process of this romantic event starts...

The First Touch Explained

Tips & Tricks

When we meet with a couple, one of the questions we ask them is if they are doing a first look. Most of the time, our couples do go for the first look, which we enjoy. It's a great way to get intimate portraits and a sentimental memory. However, not all couple are fans of being that non-traditional. They will often mention how they don't want to see each other, but they still want to do something. That's when Shawn and I suggest what we like to call the "first touch". This option is amazing for the couples that want to have a moment together, but also want to save the big reveal for the aisle. Shawn and I totally understand this option because it's what we did. For those who don't know Shawn, his personality during stressful situations is incredibly calm. It's something I knew I needed when planning our big day. The only problem was that we both did not want to do a first look. So I scoured Pinterest and found a sweet alternative. It allowed us to share a beautiful moment, while still seeing each other for the first time right before our vows. On our chilly, rainy wedding day when everything was going crazy, all I wanted was Shawn. Our first touch was exactly what I needed in order to calm my brain (which was working overtime). I know I've talked about our experience a few times. It's important, though, because it made us...

5 of Our Favorite Poses

Tips & Tricks

We enjoy giving our couples freedom in their posing. We try to do minimal directing, because we don't want the shoot to slip into being stiff. Don't get me wrong, though, we still give a fair amount of direction. But we give each pose the chance to evolve. When we start off the session, we go with easy poses. Those usually include the chest-to-chest position. Generally, our direction is "face one another and get close". That sets the couple up for the basic look of the image Shawn and I want. From that point, we start easing in to tiny tweaks like having the lady give a small leg pop or for them to start telling each other jokes. All of these are very small things that affect the mood and look of the shoot. When a couple is having fun together, they are more comfortable and confident. When we set up our posing in a very basic way, it allows our couples to feel like they can breath. There is no way that Shawn and I can feel happy by precisely placing every piece of the shot. We know our couples won't be happy with that either. We need the couple to move and to naturally interact with one another. Once those first few shots are accomplished, the nerves melt away. In those instances, we're all able to learn about one another and have a really awesome session. Nice and close bringing chest to chest Think about whenever...

My 3 Favorite Questions to Ask Couples

Tips & Tricks

The questions that Shawn and I ask during meetings with our couples aren't overly technical. We try to keep meetings with us as natural as possible. Occasionally, the meetings can feel like a blind double date, just because we really want to get to know who both of you are. When Shawn and I have a sense of what your relationship is based on, then we are able to give you a better idea of who we are. I know I have stressed this a million times, but we enjoy being friends with our couples. Last week, we sent our September and October couples their wedding day questionnaires. I've covered that topic in the past, but to recap: it's our online document that covers everything. It's extensive, and I would say it takes more than a few hours to complete. But much like our first meeting, it allows us to get to know the couple that we will be photographing. Yesterday, I got the sweetest email from one of the brides, Sara, saying how they had finished the questionnaire (like champs) and how excited her and Charlie were to see us again. From the initial meeting we had with them, Shawn and I really wanted to connect on a level that wasn't just "you're my wedding vendor". We wanted Sara and Charlie to feel happy that they chose us. The questions covered in their consultation were extremely important, and go hand-in-hand with the topics we cover in the...

Family Formals: Reduce the Chaos

For Your Day

There are a lot of important things couples try to perfect for your wedding, like the sweet first look, the heartfelt and poignant ceremony, and the rockin' party. With all of these bits and pieces to worry about, it's easy to miss another big stressor: family formals. These photos typically take place right after the ceremony and with you and your partner and your close family, while the remaining guests enjoy a smooth cocktail hour before dinner. They provide a great opportunity to slow down and capture some precious memories to be used for everything from wedding albums to Facebook profiles. However, what should be a calm and special moment immediately trailing an emotional ceremony, can quickly turn into an upsetting hassle on your big day.     The Scenario Imagine you just finished exchanging vows and sharing your kiss. As soon as you get back down the aisle, you are directed over to a shaded area near by where you can take a few moments to chat, giggle, and spend some time together as your family is collected. As Shawn is gathering parents, siblings, grandparents, and others, we notice some aunts and uncles wandering over to congratulate you and see what is going on. When Grandma is brought over, I begin to set up the shot, and it's gorgeous. She congratulates you, gives the you both a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, and I wait for everyone to settle in before asking the group to...

4 Tips to Keep Costs Under Control

Tips & Tricks

We experienced first hand that spending money is inevitable when planning a wedding inspiration shoot. (Spending money for anything in life is pretty much a guarantee today, but that's a different discussion, haha.) At the beginning of the process for our Rose Quartz and Cobalt shoot, we didn't really think about the money that we would be investing in the session ourselves. When this styled shoot was just a small little baby, we only thought we would need flowers, a dress, and two models. But being the very high end thinkers and dreamers that we are, we noticed that this shoot was going to be much larger than having just three or four components. As Marlayna and I entered into the later stages of planning, we realized that in order to make this shoot match what was in our heads, we had to put forth some sort of monetary contribution. This included paying for the venue, gathering tablescape decor, and purchasing materials for our DIY activities. We certainly saved quite a bit of money by doing a lot of things on our own and gathering coupons for Target and Hobby Lobby. There is no shame in our coupon and final sales game, haha. We tried really hard to make sure we split the costs equally and that we weren't going ridiculously over budget for any one thing. We were thrifty in our purchases and definitely kept each other in check. And I never realized how awesome and beneficial...

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Direct Message Vendors on Social Media

Tips & Tricks

Social media is a resource difficult to live without in today's society. Of course, there are those strong individuals who can go more than a day without checking their accounts or uploading selfies, but they are in the minority of people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Tumblr, are all platforms for people to showcase their personalities and find people that they want to know more about. In most cases, these vessels are also used by professionals to display their talents and attract potential clients. One really awesome feature that most sites boast is the ability to direct message (DM). It's an amazing resource that allows you to stay connected with friends and keep up with the people you may have lost touch with. It's an important feature in the world of social media, but a lot of times, we don't realize the short-comings that can also surface from it. Today, I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the problems with DMing your potential wedding vendors instead of reaching out via email or their website. If this can save one message from getting lost and bring you closer to the vendor of your dreams, then it has done the job :).   The 3 Reasons Why You Should Not Direct Message Your Wedding Vendors: 1. The Message Request Folder The biggest problem I see with DMing is when you message someone's personal account, your inquiry will most likely end up in an alternate area that...